ANNOUNCE: Ants 1.0 -- Distributed code networks 
Author Message
 ANNOUNCE: Ants 1.0 -- Distributed code networks

This is something I am now happy to release as it originally got
pre-empted by Oil (which I was rushing with for the Alt Party). I hope
we can build on this and build a really nice Tcl network, or at least
something fun. Please let me know what you think.

What is the Ants project?

Ants is a generic system for running any kind of distributed code, intended

idea is to be able to write scripts with areas defined to be run on the Ants
network. These script fragments can then communicate with the original
script by passing messages. The server admin can specify which libraries
scripts are allowed to load. In addition to that, by configuring the system
and attaching more scripts to it, it can be a valuable system administration
framework for both small and large networks.

The current software platform supports scripts written in Tcl, although the
protocol allows for other scripts too. This is released into the public
domain. Anybody can use the code however they wish (credit, where due, is
appreciated).

http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~setok/ants/

--
                              / http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~setok/



Fri, 19 Aug 2005 18:28:14 GMT  
 ANNOUNCE: Ants 1.0 -- Distributed code networks

Quote:

> This is something I am now happy to release as it originally got
> pre-empted by Oil (which I was rushing with for the Alt Party). I hope
> we can build on this and build a really nice Tcl network, or at least
> something fun. Please let me know what you think.

> What is the Ants project?

> Ants is a generic system for running any kind of distributed code, intended

> idea is to be able to write scripts with areas defined to be run on the Ants
> network. These script fragments can then communicate with the original
> script by passing messages. The server admin can specify which libraries
> scripts are allowed to load. In addition to that, by configuring the system
> and attaching more scripts to it, it can be a valuable system administration
> framework for both small and large networks.

> The current software platform supports scripts written in Tcl, although the
> protocol allows for other scripts too. This is released into the public
> domain. Anybody can use the code however they wish (credit, where due, is
> appreciated).

> http://people.fishpool.fi/~setok/ants/

'Sounds interesting. How does this compare with Grid computing stuff. I
know very little about Grid applications, or distributed computing in
general, but it seems similar to my untrained eye.

Neil.



Sat, 20 Aug 2005 00:53:28 GMT  
 ANNOUNCE: Ants 1.0 -- Distributed code networks

Quote:
>> Ants is a generic system for running any kind of distributed code, intended

>> idea is to be able to write scripts with areas defined to be run on the Ants
>> network. These script fragments can then communicate with the original
>> script by passing messages. The server admin can specify which libraries
>> scripts are allowed to load. In addition to that, by configuring the system
>> and attaching more scripts to it, it can be a valuable system administration
>> framework for both small and large networks.

> 'Sounds interesting. How does this compare with Grid computing stuff. I
> know very little about Grid applications, or distributed computing in
> general, but it seems similar to my untrained eye.

This is directly comparable to grid computing, and I should probably
state that somewhere there. This is an open ground-root effort for grid
computing around a framework written in Tcl. Ie. I'm not inventing anything
totally new with this, just doing it in a fashion I like.

As for grid computing, I was thinking about that quite a long time before it
became "grid computing": I've got a virtual assembler that I wrote years ago
with the intent that it would contain op codes for automatic distribution
on a net. However, I never completed it -- like so many other things.
Then last year I thought I might give it a shot using Tcl as the base.
It wouldn't necessarily be as fast, as the virtual asm could be fairly directly
compiled on-the-fly to native asm, but it was an interesting undertaking
nonetheless. Combined with the idea that you can allow for "package
require" and the server admin can configure the allowed packages, I think
you could do quite a lot with that.

Let's join all the Tcl machines together! Configure mpexpr to be allowed
on them and calculate a new prime number. Or then just distribute a Tcl
extension which can be used in the process.I've even considered, after

efforts to see if they'd be willing to write their stuff as Tcl extensions
instead of separate applications and then just distribute them. They
would neatly fit into the existing framework and (hopefully) the network
of machines, if people are interested. Note that the extensions don't need
to know anything about the network: they just provide scriptable interfaces.

I do also honestly think that the administration aspects shouldn't be
overlooked: properly configured and scripted I can do all kinds of nice things
with the (small) network of machines at Fishpool. While obviously this can be
achieved in other ways too, they're not as flexible. I can run any Tcl
script accepted by the safety policy (also scripted) and almost transparently
incorporate this information into other scripts. When new machines are added,
everything works transparently.

--
                              / http://www.fishpool.com/~setok/



Sat, 20 Aug 2005 01:53:20 GMT  
 ANNOUNCE: Ants 1.0 -- Distributed code networks

Quote:
> 'Sounds interesting. How does this compare with Grid computing stuff. I
> know very little about Grid applications, or distributed computing in
> general, but it seems similar to my untrained eye.

Oh, wanted to add: thanks for taking some interest in both this and
Oil. I do appreciate it.

Just thought of another area for Ants: data distribution, peer-to-peer
stuff or just a more distributed approach to keeping data around.

Now let's hope it catches on!

--
                              / http://www.fishpool.com/~setok/



Sat, 20 Aug 2005 01:55:46 GMT  
 
 [ 4 post ] 

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